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Three ways McKinsey’s formal training programs set you up for success

Eszter, a senior fellow business analyst from Budapest, reminisces about the benefits of Embark, McKinsey’s onboarding program for all new hires.

Immediately after joining McKinsey I was invited to Embark, McKinsey’s week long in–person training for new hires. The program teaches basic skills needed at the firm: how to break down problems, hypothesize solutions, prioritize tests, and synthesize findings. It goes beyond McKinsey’s problem–solving approach into relationship–building, effective interview techniques, and design thinking. These latter topics were extremely interesting for me as I hadn’t come across them at university.

Embark was a great opportunity to meet peers from around the firm. Some came from top schools; others didn’t. Some had longer employment histories, some were recent students. Many had strong quantitative backgrounds in engineering, big data, etc. And, there was a published author, a philanthropist, a medical doctor, and an English major among us. I was amazed by how McKinsey embraced this diversity . It is not a requirement to go to a top school, study business, or work for a certain number of years to join.

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Finally, the faculty was supportive throughout the program and beyond. Our lead instructor encouraged us to contact him anytime we have a question. This is not rare at McKinsey: when I meet someone, they almost immediately express an interest in my professional and personal goals and offer help for the future. This energy drives me and inspires me to help my colleagues whenever I can. In fact, our Embark group created a WhatsApp group to help us keep in touch.

By the end of Embark, it was evident everyone wants each other to succeed and grow. Embark strengthened my belief that McKinsey can give me the right tools, opportunities and environment to decide where I want to make an impact and to achieve it.

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